With all due respect to Washington’s Bryce Harper and Baltimore’s Manny Machado, the best young position player in baseball is Angels 21-year-old center fielder Mike Trout.
Trout won the AL Rookie of the Year and finished second for the AL MVP last season when he batted .326 with a .399 on-base percentage, 30 homers and 83 RBIs. He led the AL in stolen bases (49) and runs (129).
The 2012 All-Star and Silver Slugger is having another fine season. He entered Friday batting .297 with a .367 on-base percentage, .550 slugging percentage, 12 homers, 42 RBIs, 14 steals, 20 doubles, six triples and 47 runs.
Trout recently went one-on-one with Eagle-Tribune baseball writer Christopher Smith who writes the Smitty on Baseball blog on the Tribune website.
Smitty: Where was the first major league game you ever attended?
Trout: Phillies in old Veterans Stadium. I don’t know who they were playing. I think maybe the Expos. I was maybe 6 or 7.
Smitty: How old were you when you hit your first homer over a fence during a game?
Trout: I think I was 9 years old and just hit it down the line. (Knew it) as soon as I hit it. It was actually the first one I ever hit even in practice. It was a pretty cool feeling.
Smitty: Was it a cooler feeling than when you hit your first one in the major leagues?
Trout: No, no. The experience I had in Baltimore for my first home run with family and friends watching was a pretty cool experience.
Smitty: Who was your favorite player growing up?
Trout: (Derek) Jeter was always my favorite.
Smitty: Have you talked with him since being in the league?
Trout: Oh, yeah. Definitely. Just in general we (chatted). He’s an all-around great person on and off the field. You can sit there and talk to him about anything. And I got a chance to play with him in the All-Star Game. That was a pretty cool feeling.